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Posts Tagged ‘dome’

This magnificent dome home in Baja Sur, Mexico has a dramatic view.

This magnificent dome home in Baja Sur, Mexico has a dramatic view.


Baja Sur dome home kitchen

Baja Sur dome home kitchen


Inspired by world-renowned American architect Nader Kahlili, these handmade art vaults [domes] are a typical example of the earth and ceramic architecture. Built with material free disposal of the land, the five domes technologies and innovations superadobe function currently available. Perched on a hill of El Gavilan – most dramatic settings in all of Great Northern Baja California Sur coast. Based on the designs of the environment, these vaults are among the Earth with solar energy and absolutely beautiful and out. Interiors feature soft curved walls, ceilings and many beautiful artistic touches. Each room has windows with views and doors opening onto a terrace overlooking the Pacific. Two comfortable rooms with beds and custom desktops, each with its own bathroom located on opposite wings of the main room. The buildings are energy efficient cool in summer and warm in winter, and probably the majority of households in the environment that never found. Two bedrooms with comfortable beds and desks custom, with STI Each bathroom situated on opposite wings off the main living area. Probably the most environmentally friendly homes you’ll ever come across.
Bedrooms: 2
Baths: 2.0
Parking: 4
Land: 1499.92 m2
$499,000

Source: Casasy Terrenos.com

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Ramirez Bari V01

Ramirez Bari V01


Ramirez Bari V01 AL2

Ramirez Bari V01 AL2


Take some time and enjoy architect Jose Andres Vallejo’s stunning Photostream site and website.

Previous blog post about Jose Andres Vallejo’s house designs

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Bonita Domes by United Earth Builders (click to enlarge)

Bonita Domes by United Earth Builders (click to enlarge)


Earthbag vaults by United Earth Builders (click to enlarge)

Earthbag vaults by United Earth Builders (click to enlarge)


“I would like to announce the United Earth Builders 10 day intensive workshop beginning in April! Located in Joshua Tree we will be teaching attendees how to build a standard 8′ earthbag dome and a retaining wall.

Participants in this workshop will be led through a series of intellectual, cognitive, and physical exercises that seek to strengthen mind-body connections to both the technical processes, as well as the creative processes underlying the art and skill of earthbag design and construction. From structural principles and design, soil practicum and on-site planning this 10-day workshop will supply the attendee with full confidence in the building process and instill a renewed sense of community through building with the earth.

About
Our mission, duty and purpose is to provide educational and charitable services in regard to environmentally sustainable, affordable, and structurally sound sandbag homes with the intent to help relieve poverty by improving living conditions globally.

Mission
United Earth Builders mission, duty and purpose is to empower and instill confidence in people by providing educational and charitable services in regard to environmentally sustainable, artfully designed and truly organic homes that compliment Nature.

What guides us:
We seek to make a more positive world by turning up good music, playing with earth bag structures and teaching the techniques to anyone and everyone, smiling and laughing as we do it!

Rehabilitate ourselves through honest play and an ethical, moral and high spirited team of builders. The Golden Rule is our life and collaboration works for everyone.

What We Provide:
Experienced-based-learning – workshops that provide you will a wholesome curriculum and full hands-on building experience.
Collaborative community beautification projects; with local non-profits and community leaders; in order to provide a tool to combat community deterioration and help improve race and ethnic relations, lessening neighborhood tensions.
Fund raise in order to attain seismic shake table testing; a key factor for providing the public with a record of proof to show the International Code Council (ICC) that sandbag homes are a viable and safe option for global deployment.

Hands-on training
We provide local, national and global communities with the ability to design and build adequate housing using the most abundant resource on the planet.”

Source: United Earthbuilders on Facebook
United Earth Builders.com

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Hello, I am building a superadobe dome here in Brazil and was wandering if I could ask you for some advice about safety issues. It is one dome only building with internal diameter about 24.6 ft wide (7.5 m) and we are using 19.7 inches (50 cm) wide poly bags. The estimated height we´ll be achieving soon for the closure of the dome is about 23 ft (7 m). The earth material is a mixture of clay, cement and sand to avoid infiltration because of the high rainfall here. We are planning to make a light dome on top, which will make us finish the dome in a wide internal ring about 6.5 ft
wide (2 m).

My concern is about people´s safety working and moving heavy material in height. I tried to install some hooks with safety ropes and people are using harnesses to move along the wall. We are using movable scaffolding inside the dome to distribute material along the rows, but it is still not working well. I am not sure how to guarantee the safety of the people working during the closure. Another concern of mine is about the structural integrity of a dome this wide, does it need temporary or permanent. anchoring or reinforcement of any kind? Do you know how can I find technical information I could use in this case? See attached photos (not shown here).
Andre

Owen:
Hello Andre, Your project looks pretty good to me. Just be careful though since you’re at about the maximum size dome for earthbags. I would have added some rebar down through the bags as the walls went up. It’s cheap ‘insurance’. If the dome is not perfectly symmetrical, then problems can develop. Be sure to read the article about the Om Dome. They had to tear down the walls because the shape was off just a little, so be careful. If you feel or see anything strange, be prepared to jump to the outside immediately.

Machinery of some sort is the most efficient way to move lots of soil high up on a wall. The next best way is probably a chain gang of sorts, where workers pass 2-gallon buckets from one person to the next. It’s safer to keep all the workers on the outside until the earthbag work is finished. You could use ladders instead of scaffolding if not enough scaffolding is available, or both. And don’t rush things. It does get quite dangerous up on the wall. That’s one reason I like a loft, because it creates a nice work platform. Next time consider embedding lots of short poles between the bags to support planks to stand on. Cut them off when finished. Good luck and please keep us posted.

Kelly:
Hi Andre, I read Owen’s advice and agree with what he suggests. One factor in determining the stability of the building is how much the wall moves or vibrates when being walked on. If it is shaking very much, then I would be more concerned than if it felt rock solid. All of the larger domes that I have made have stabilizing supports or vigas going across at loft level, and this has rigidified the structure considerably. You might want to add something like this for this reason alone, if you feel unsure about the stability. These vigas can also provide a nice platform for further work above to finish the dome.

In studying you photos, I also have a concern about the way that the large arched opening was formed. I see that you still have the supports for it in place, and this might be a good thing. Even though you are using cement stabilized fill, that top bag runs many feet almost horizontally, with practically no arch to it. This concerns me because it is easy for me to visualize that collapsing at some point, after the form is removed. Usually with long superadobe arches people make sure that the bags also arch, especially directly over the top. You can see this in the pictures at http://earthbagbuilding.com/projects/sandbagshelters.htm You might want to provide further solid reinforcement, such as with a steel frame, to help support this area of the opening.

This looks like a fun project, and will certainly be one of the largest earthbag domes that I know about. Do keep us posted on how it turns out.

Owen:
A few more thoughts. Are you using one of the recommended methods for earthbag domes?
Kelly Hart’s method
Two string-lines method
– Catenary dome: explained by Doni and Kaki in their book Earthbag Building – The Tools, Tricks and Techniques

Also, I suggest inspecting the dome about twice a day to see if any gaps develop between courses of earthbags.

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Timbrel roof by Guastavino

Timbrel roof by Guastavino


Readers really liked the previous post on Timbrel Roofs. This comment is from Paul, one of our readers.

“Your post a few days back about timbrel vaulting grabbed my interest, and I began to look into it. I found some interesting PDFs on Guastavino.net, in their resources page. Click on the Texts button. It contains several texts written in the 1895-1905 time period on fireproof building construction. I haven’t read them all yet, still working on the Prolegomenos on the Function of Masonry. Part II, 1904 text. I will read the earlier texts once I have finished this one.

It goes into some detail on why masonry is the ideal construction material, particularly for roofs, and why other materials (stone, wood and metal) are less than ideal. It also discusses the classical architectural advances of the Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans at different stages of development.

I think you will find these texts of value.”
Paul

“Welcome to guastavino.net
The Guastavino Project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is dedicated to documenting and preserving the tile vaulted works of the Guastavino Company. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Rafael Guastavino Moreno and his son Rafael Guastavino Exposito were responsible for designing tile vaults in nearly a thousand buildings around the world, of which more than 600 survive to the present day. The remaining buildings are found in more than 30 U.S. states, and include major landmarks such as the Ellis Island Registry Hall, the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal, and the Boston Public Library.”

Source: Guastavino.net

Follow-up email from Paul:
“Hi Owen,
It took some researching, but I found a clean (and free) copy of Rudolf Gustavino’s book on Cohesive Construction. This is the second edition and is complete, with all of the plates, etc. I printed a copy of this 167 page file for my research library. The new Adobe software has some tricks to it. It will automatically print double-sided (if your printer supports this) but can be disabled for printers that don’t have this feature.

When you read this file on your computer, it shows two pages at the same time, but when you go to print, it does a ‘flattening’, which I have never run into before, but what it does is to split the pages into one page per sheet. There is not a lot of print per page, this must have been a pocketbook, so that it could be taken to a job site and consulted.

Here are my thoughts on the subject. Gustavino used baked clay tiles, and even held a patent on how to make the edges staggered so that if a joint should fail, the tile would still be held in place by the shape of the tile alone. This is a really good idea, and this patent, which should be expired by now (the company shut down in 1965) so that this shape should be able to be used. Is it possible to use geopolymer to create these tiles, and possibly for use as the mortar? Some of Davidovits’ videos would indicate that this is indeed possible. Gustavino recommended tiles fired to a minimum of 2000 degrees F, so that if a fire should occur in the structure, the tiles would not expand significantly. This would prevent distruction of the structure, and seems to have worked, as the only Gustavino buildings that have been destroyed were done so deliberately, and not accidently by fire.

With earthbags for the walls, and geopolymer tiles used to create both floors and roofs, a building should last several generations. The only thing to ensure this would be aesthetics, for an ugly building is ugly forever, and is not likely to be kept around.

Gustavino used the arch in many different forms, but preferred the dome where possible, as it distributes the tension more evenly than a barrel vault will. He has a short discussion in his book how a barrel vault, built to his system, will stand up even if cracked diagonally from one corner to another. I found that point interesting. He liked to use arches (domes) even for ceilings that comprise the underside of floors, by putting up vertical ribs between the two surfaces of the appropriate height, generally 24 inches apart. To keep moisture from condensing between the two surfaces and to permit the running of pipes, wire, etc, he sometimes made them partially or completely hollow. This of course did not take into account insulation, but I suppose this could be installed before putting the floor down, as the arched ceiling is installed first.

I have seen some videos where modern test structures were tested to failure. However, every one of these were only one layer thick whereas Gustavino always built a minimum of two tile layers thick and up to 4 layers thick. As the tiles that he used were only 1 inch thick on the average, this makes for a very thin and light structure, yet one in which was of sufficient strength that after only a day or so, workers could walk across the structure and apply more layers of masonry.

All in all, I find the subject fascinating and full of promise.”
Paul

Image source: New York Daily Photo

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An earthbag dome will likely have a longer lifespan and require less plaster maintenance if it’s protected by a durable roof. (click to enlarge)

An earthbag dome will likely have a longer lifespan and require less plaster maintenance if it’s protected by a durable roof. (click to enlarge)


Attach rafters to braces that are embedded between courses of earthbags. (click to enlarge)

Attach rafters to braces that are embedded between courses of earthbags. (click to enlarge)


Nailers help hold braces in position. (click to enlarge)

Nailers help hold braces in position. (click to enlarge)


As discussed in a previous blog post the other day (see link below), dome roofs protect domes from moisture damage, shade the structure, reduce plaster work and capture rainwater. If you’re building in a rainy or snowy climate, your dome will likely have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance if you have a durable roof.

The drawings above show my recommended techniques using either wood poles or milled lumber. Wood poles are less expensive (or free), although they’re more tedious to work with. The basic ideas shown above can be altered to meet your needs. For instance, you could use purlins instead of roof sheathing. You could leave a gap between the roof and the dome for ventilation, add a skylight, gutters, etc.

Previous blog post on Roofed Domes

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Roofed dome by Superadobe Construccion Blogspot (click to enlarge)

Roofed dome by Superadobe Construccion Blogspot (click to enlarge)


Kentucky Dome Home roofed dome.

Kentucky Dome Home roofed dome.


Rob Wainwright's roofed dome in Australia

Rob Wainwright's roofed dome in Australia


Dome with embedded rafters at Blog Daum.net

Dome with embedded rafters at Blog Daum.net

Earthen domes evolved in deserts. Due in part to the beautiful and interesting shape, people started building earthen domes in rainier climates. But domes are more vulnerable to moisture damage than roofed structures. Without a roof, domes are exposed to the rain and snow. Plaster will eventually crack and when it does moisture can cause serious damage. One option is to build roofed domes as shown in the photos above.

Image source: Superadobe Construccion Blogspot
Image source: Kentucky Dome Home
Image source: Rob Wainwright dome in Australia
Image source: Dome with embedded rafters at Blog Daum.net

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Earthbag domes are more fire resistant and safer in brush fires such as this one in Australia.

Earthbag domes are more fire resistant and safer in brush fires such as this one in Australia.


I received an email about the high fire risk in Victoria and much of southern Australia, and they explained how they are considering earthbag domes as a fire safety strategy. Wooden roofs, especially houses with roof overhangs, would be at much higher risk of fire than domes. Fire would go right on past a properly built earthbag dome with a little preparation.

Here is my email reply:
In addition to normal fire prevention strategies like planting fire-resistant plants around your house, creating a fire break by clearing brush a safe distance, and not storing combustibles such as firewood next to the home, all you really need to know is domes are much safer against brush fires than houses with roofs. Add metal shutters so you can close off windows and doors in case of fire. You might also want to add an air filter and stock up on water and other supplies so you can stay at home until the emergency is over. Please keep us posted of your project. Your home could be a model home for others in the area. This is really important to me. I hate seeing all the needless suffering caused by inappropriate building methods.

Disaster Resistant Earthbag Housing
Image source: Big Brass Blog

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Thea Bryant and her children will soon move into a permitted earthbag house they built in Austin, Texas.

Thea Bryant and her children will soon move into a permitted earthbag house they built in Austin, Texas.


Interior view of Thea’s earthbag dome home. Tours, workshops and work/trade arrangements available.

Interior view of Thea’s earthbag dome home. Tours, workshops and work/trade arrangements available.


“A series of domes constructed of earth, sand and water combine to make a home for Thea Bryant and her family. Dried mud is collected in buckets all around the structure and can be reconstituted by simply adding water. The structure was built using 40-year-old plans developed for the United Nations to build homes in developing nations. The technique uses a mixture of earth, sand and water stuffed into mesh tubes that are then coiled on each other in a circular pattern, creating dome. Small nooks jut out from the main dome and are meant to be used for sleeping and cooking stations. The project has taken nearly three years so far, but it’s near completion and Bryant has plans for a big party in celebration.”

Read the full article at Statesman.com
EarthbagHouse.com
Maybe some folks in that area would like to lend a hand. And maybe Thea is willing to share her plans and/or publish her floorplan?

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